Sarkozy: France to follow US lead on Afghanistan withdrawal
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Thursday that France would follow the lead given by US President Barack Obama on withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, DPA reported.
Obama announced Wednesday that 33,000 US soldiers would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by September 2012, with 10,000 of them set to be out by the end of this year.
France would also begin a "progressive withdrawal" in a "manner proportional and (working to) a timetable comparable to the withdrawal of the American reinforcements," the French presidency said in a statement.
Obama had discussed the issue with Sarkozy by telephone before making his speech Wednesday, the statement said.
Sarkozy said France "shares the American analysis and objectives and welcomes President Obama's decision."
"He (Sarkozy) also recalled the successes obtained in the fight against terrorism, particularly the death of Osama bin Laden."
Some 4,000 French soldiers are currently deployed in Afghanistan.